Journey again in time on a 3D digital tour of Baalbek’s well-known Roman temples

The famous temple complex of Baalbek, the ancient Heliopolis in Lebanon, is one of the largest Roman religious sites in the world and part of the world heritage. Baalbek has a rich history that goes back to around 8,000 BC. BC. Reaches back. The remaining six pillars of the Temple of Jupiter are now a landmark of Lebanon. On March 31st, the Flyover Zone app “Baalbek Reborn: Temples” will be launched with the latest technology to reconstruct what today’s ruins looked like in the past. On a journey through time, the virtual tour brings this heritage to life and shows the Temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, the Temple of Bacchus, the Temple of Venus and the Temple of the Muses.

This extraordinary experience is the result of a collaboration between the Lebanese Department of Antiquities (DGA), the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and Flyover Zone, a US-based company that specializes in virtual time travel to cultural heritage sites. Experts from the DAI, who have been working on site since 1998, formed the scientific basis for the 3D reconstructions. Using the latest technology, Flyover Zone managed to create an immersive experience that takes users on a journey back in time.

“The fascinating thing about Baalbek is not only the Roman temples, but also its almost 10,000-year history,” emphasizes Margarete van Ess, director of the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute and longstanding head of scientific research in Baalbek. “As an archaeologist, finds and research give me pictures of what this special place looked like at that time. It is fantastic that the temples are now taking shape in the app and can be viewed by people all over the world!” says van Ess.

The depth and relevance of the scientific knowledge conveyed via the app makes Baalbek Reborn: Temples unique. Users can choose to move around either virtually through today’s archaeological site or through digital reconstruction of the ancient religious sites. The audio track, optionally in Arabic, French, English or German, offers scientifically sound knowledge and explanations. There are 38 stops distributed among the temple complexes and presented by the researchers at the DAI. This makes the app equally interesting for laypeople and experts.

Bernard Frischer, Founder and President of the Flyover Zone, stated: “For the Flyover Zone this project is a dream come true. Besides the size of the Baalbek sanctuary, its cultural importance cannot be exaggerated. In ancient times people from distant parts of the empire consulted the oracle of Baalbek, and we even have records of emperors who do this too. Now we are using what we have learned to bring Baalbek into the classrooms and living rooms of students and the . We hope thousands of people around the world the virtual tour will be downloaded and used to whet the appetite for a visit to the website when the -19 pandemic passports and international travel are possible again. “

Thanks to the generosity of Bassam Alghanim, who donated the money in loving memory of his parents Yusuf and Ilham Alghanim, the virtual tour “The Baalbek Reborn: Temples” is offered free of charge. The DAI and the overpass zone thus contribute to promoting a deeper understanding of the importance of the ancient temples, making scientific knowledge more generally accessible and promoting Baalbek as an important tourist attraction.

The virtual tour can be downloaded for use on smartphones and tablets (Android, iOS), PCs and laptops (Macintosh, Windows 10) and VR headsets (Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift-S, HTC Vive). .

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